The really striking thing I've noticed since going online in August 2003 is the way in which the Web has altered the news media. Once upon a time, nearly all of us relied upon the Press, Radio & TV for our news consumption. I can remember the sudden hush in our household when an announcer would intone, "Here is a newsflash".
Nowadays news, like fast food & escort agencies, is a 24/7 option, there to be accessed at any time. We all know the great advantages to be enjoyed from this.
However, the downside is that news has lost its natural importance. It has to compete for people's attention; countless teenagers & twenty-somethings spend hours on the Web without knowing the main news stories of the day (for some strange reason, typing "Angelina Jolie Nude" into Google holds far more appeal for teenage boys than the Guardian or BBC websites).
What's the answer? Ah, that's the $64,000 question for the media. I don't envy them their task.
Wearing my Victor Meldrew hat this morning, I came across Will Hutton's column in the Observer (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,69031686659,00.html) .
It is a genuine attempt to retain some Enlightenment values while recognising that anti-social behaviour warrants immediate action. However, Travis Bickle remains a hero of mine. Let Travis loose, armed to the teeth, on your average council estate, & the feral chavs will soon get the message.